The continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the charity sector

  • By Alun Edwards
  • 9 October 2020 10:00

As we enter Autumn one story continues to dominate, namely the ongoing impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on all aspects of society both at home and overseas. If anything the situation feels that it’s getting worse, with rising rates of infection and additional measures being imposed to try and control the spread of the disease that indicate that the pandemic is far from over and is likely to continue well into 2021.

All of this keeps the pressure on the charity sector. By now many will have revised the way they operate and can best meet the needs of their beneficiaries whilst remaining compliant with social distancing measures in place. Managing the financial implications of the outbreak remains challenging for many though, with charities experiencing reduced levels of income due to the inability to carry out their usual fundraising activities whilst trying to continue to provide as full a range of services as possible.

Financial support available

With the spiralling cost of managing the economic consequences of the pandemic it comes as no surprise that the government has had to rethink the financial support it is able to provide. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which has provided support to employers and has helped prevent mass redundancies will shortly be coming to an end, replaced by the less generous Job Support Scheme. Many employers will have difficult decisions to make over the coming months as they try to balance the books and job losses can be expected.

The sector’s regulators continue to publish guidance to help trustees and charity managers respond to the changing situation, and measures have been implemented to temporarily ease some of the administrative burden placed on charities. Keeping on top of it all though can be a challenge, for both charities and their trusted advisors!

How we can help

For further guidance on issues currently affecting the charity sector our Autumn 2020 Charity Newsletter has been designed to keep your charity clients up to date on the major issues they face. Although the pandemic takes centre stage, it also provides a round up of other topical issues affecting charities at present, including the latest accounting, taxation and governance guidance. Matters covered include diversity in the charity sector, the VAT treatment of supplies of digital advertising to charities and the latest reporting developments. To find out more about the latest edition please visit here.

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